Insane Colors, Touch, Knobs: Ander’s Crazy Custom Live Controller, and Some New Music

What if software could leap off the screen, transforming into physical form? Ander’s custom controller for live performance looks like just that. An epic array of candy-colored buttons, with a dizzying arrangement of knobs atop it, it’s the opposite of what many live performances these days can be. Rather than a spectacle that distracts from the live performance, it is a spectacle that embodies the performance – not only Ander’s physical gestures, but the way he conceives his music. By making all of his set touchable – even though that involves a lot of advance preparation – the performance it …

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Beastie Boys, VJ Style: Benton-C Bainbridge on Oscilloscopes and Memories

We remember Adam Yauch today on Create Digital Music, with the help of Network Awesome. It’s doubly appropriate to talk video, as MCA was also the Beastie Boys’ filmmaker. Our friend Benton-C Bainbridge did live visuals with Beastie Boys. He remembers Adam by sharing, at my request, some of his visual work with the band. At top: Beastie Boys tribute on VH1 Hip Hop Honors, using thermal cam, oscilloscope, vdmx, rescan and modded MX30 mixer. And two more:

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Recue’s “Do Not Disturb”: Live Jam, Made in an Airport Hotel Room [Free Download]

It’s like musical survival training. Quick: you’re stuck in a hotel. Can you make some music? Our friend Recue, aka Riku Annala, was unexpectedly being stranded in a hotel and made it into a musical opportunity. The results are damned fine listening. (Thank whatever act of God / airlines prompted this.) You can enjoy the results, free. Riku writes: Dunno if you remember but some time ago I shared the little cheap tape head “saturation” thingy with you. I was recently ‘stuck’ in an airport hotel room (for other reasons than music), but the good thing was that I had …

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Live Set of the Week: Generative Set, telematique + u-matic + Sascha Funke, Audionite [Jitter, Syphon]

On a tremendous three-screen rig at Nantes, France’s new Stereolux venue, Berlin-based u-matic and telematique show off their latest custom Jitter rig. By networking their machines, they’re able to collaborate; Syphon lets them separate the generative tools from the mixer (an increasingly-nice solution on the Mac). The results are geometric and abstract, fitting the Berlin-themed music on this showcase. (I played this venue as part of the Pure Data venue the day before – it’s a really terrific new spot, and it’s great to see some activity in France outside of Paris! Now, let’s see what some of the French …

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Visual Reel Picks: vvvv and Audiovisuals from Max Hattler

Enough talk about free software – back to some actual visuals. German visualist Max Hattler sends us his latest visual reel, a live A/V set performed in Serbia, and it’s a brilliant diversion. Textured geometries meld and blink in lovely combinations of hard-edged abstraction and painterly layers. It’s all done in vvvv, the graphical patching tool for Windows, the tool that, while it fails to be a household name, generates loads of optical output. I really enjoy the sounds, too. Much is made on our companion site Create Digital Music of what performances look like, but surely there’s also appeal …

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Complete Live Set: Gorgeous Pen-Drawn Visuals and Sonics from Unsound

Unsound NYC, Alexander Kaline and Joshue Ott from superdraw on Vimeo. Audiovisual experiences promise to be richer than ever, but conveying them to new audiences matters, too. Very often, the Internet reduces documentation to small bits and pieces or low-fidelity, grainy live video that’s hard to follow. That’s why it’s a treat to have a full set from the excellent NYC Unsound Festival, here featuring the ongoing visual project by our friend Joshue Ott, superDraw. Built in Java and Processing, superDraw is a three-dimensional, stylus-driven generative drawing application, allowing expressive pen gestures to become a kind of visual performance to …

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Drum Machines Have Soul: araabMUZIK on MPC, with Visuals

araabMUZIK Live MPC Set Part 1 from Death by Electric Shock on Vimeo. I have exactly zero interest in entertaining the tired hardware versus software argument that surfaced, inevitably, with the discussion of the upcoming Beat Thang drum machine. But behind that question is a very relevant question: why do people love drum machines? Why do they love particular hardware, like the MPC? What can you learn about digital performance and design from these devices and their master virtuosos? Watching videos like this one, featuring araabMUZIK, gives me all the answers I need. This is one musician among others. I …

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Streaming Sound and Image Performances Fri, Sat

In addition to Halloween-themed music mixes to entertain you this weekend, sounds and images from experimental to trance are echoing through the Internets this week. We’ve got the details on Create Digital Motion. For visualists and a range of out-there-leaning audiovisual and sonic acts, France and the rest of Europe have a festival streaming online: Festival Stream: French and European Visualists at Cinesthesy 1.0 Today and Saturday And 11:30p US Eastern is SWiY, with more gear than we have (as pictured above): Halloween Stream Tonight: SWiY Live Trance and Gearlust Scare your cat and your significant other and keep the …

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Tuesday Night in Berlin: Dense Record Shop Gig and Get-Together

I’m thrilled to be here in Berlin this week, before heading to Ireland for Dublin’s DEAF Festival. (More on that shortly.) Tuesday night, I’m playing a set at Dense Record Shop, a wonderful record store that also does live sets and has its own bar. It’s a cozy, informal venue so if you are in Berlin, drop by and say hi — it’s a chance for all of us to meet in person. 8p sharp – 10p all over. Dense Shop Location You can also find the event on Facebook Berliners, I can’t wait! Rest of the world: more on …

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A Multi-Touch Interface for Ableton Live, with the New Lemur Firmware

If you could control your music with all of your digits, and get interactive feedback on a display, what would your setup look like? Expert Lemur user and software engineer Bryant Place has one such answer. It shows off just how much the Lemur’s software has evolved over a series of revisions, and reveals a bit of what can go into performing with Ableton Live. Photos/screens: Bryant Place. Used by permission. (Click for larger versions.) Side note: for a look at live touch interfaces with Native Instruments’ Reaktor, see our story for our NI minisite. To really understand how touch …

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